, one of the original six "Celtic nations" is the homeland to the surname Westarlech. A revival of the Cornish language which began in the 9th century AD has begun. No doubt this was the language spoken by distant forebears of the Westarlech family. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames
were adopted in medieval England
is fascinating. Many Cornish surnames appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames. The name Westarlech is a local
type of surname and the Westarlech family lived in Devon.Westarlech is a topographic
surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation
names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. The name Westarlech indicates that the original bearer lived by the westernmost of a group of lakes.
Early Origins of the Westarlech family
The surname Westarlech was first found in Devon
where the place name, Westlake is still found today near Langbrook and Marjery Cross. Ironically, the place name is not near a lake. Today there are no fewer that seven places named Westlake in the United States, and one each in Australia
and New Zealand.
Early History of the Westarlech family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Westarlech research.Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 133 and 1333 are included under the topic Early Westarlech History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Westarlech Spelling Variations
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England
, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations
often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall
and the rest of England
. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic
language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Westlake, Westlock, Westloke, Weslake and others.
Early Notables of the Westarlech family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Westarlech Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Westarlech family to the New World and Oceana
An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Westarlech or a variant listed above: Phillip Westlake settled in Virginia in 1635; William Westlake settled in Maryland in 1775.